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Scand J Rheumatol. 2014;43(1):35-42. doi: 10.3109/03009742.2013.808375. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

The hURAT1 rs559946 polymorphism and the incidence of gout in Han Chinese men.

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Shandong Provincial Key Laboratory of Metabolic Disease, The Affiliated Hospital of Qingdao University Medical College , Qingdao , China.



Our previous study identified rs559946, a human urate transporter 1 (hURAT1) single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP), as being significantly associated with risk of primary hyperuricaemia (HUA) in a Han Chinese population. In the current study we aimed to identify the genetic effects of rs559946 on gout susceptibility in Han Chinese men.


A total of 335 patients with gout and 376 healthy controls were recruited for a case-control association study. To examine the functional effect of rs559946, we performed luciferase reporter assays and an electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA).


rs559946 was found to be significantly associated with gout susceptibility (p = 0.004), with T-allele carriers showing a decreased risk of gout [odds ratio (OR) 0.70, 95% confidence interval (CI) 0.55-0.89]. Multiple linear regression analysis identified a significant association between rs559946 genotypes and tophi. Luciferase reporter assays show increased transcriptional activity of the hURAT1 promoter with the C allele of rs559946. EMSA detected binding of nuclear proteins to both the T and C alleles, although increased binding was observed with the T allele. Cold competition assays suggest that rs559946 may bind within a glucocorticoid receptor (GR) binding motif.


Our study suggests that the rs559946 polymorphism is associated with increased HUA risk and may also contribute to gout development in Han Chinese men. The T to C substitution within rs559946 increased the transcriptional activity, and potentially increases gout susceptibility.

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